Table of Contents
- Is It Possible To Ride Bikes Having A Flat Tire?
- What If You Keep Riding With A Flat Tire?
- What To Do If You Have a Flat Tire?
- Complete Guide to Change Your Flat Tire
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Flat tires are the worst nightmare for a cyclist. The bike tire is one of the significant components directing the bike in a certain direction. Bikes usually come with tubes containing air. The adequate pressure created by the air helps move the bike. If the tire deflates, air rushes out or the bike tire valve becomes faulty and it losses the air pressure necessary to move.
Getting a flat bike tire is not just a hindrance, it can also be dangerous based on the terrain you are riding. In some situations, you are forced to ride your bike with a flat tire. In this guide, we’ll focus on the most pressing questions, like whether should you ride with a flat tire or what other steps to take instead.
Let’s dive right in!
Is It Possible To Ride Bikes Having A Flat Tire?
If your bike has a flat tire, it is not recommended to ride it. The frame and rim of the flat back or rear wheel will damage the thin walls of the tire.
But, in case your bike tires are gradually flattening due to a small puncture through the innertube, you can ride your bike to some extent. But, you should be aware that the handling and control will reduce as the air leaks from the tire.
If the bike tire is completely flat, you can’t possibly cover any significant distance. But, if there is only a small hole in the tire gear cable and it is deflating gradually, it will allow you to move miles as long it is completely flat.
If the riders travel with a portable bicycle pump, you can constantly fill up the tire of your rear wheel. It will allow you to cover 5 miles, 10 miles, or even more with a flat tire. But, soon you will fail to handle the movement and speed of your bike.
What If You Keep Riding With A Flat Tire?
If you keep riding a bike on a flat tire, the flat metal arm or the wheel will damage the rubber wall lining of your tire by cutting in it. It will cause an increase in rolling resistance and the inner tube to become unusable.
The bike tire is more pricey than its innertube. If the interior lining of a rubber tire is impaired, the bike wheel is also damaged. In case the rider keeps riding a flat-tire bike, they can destroy the entire bike wheel’s rim. It will fasten up the wheel due to the additional load on the bike seat.
Here are some of the consequences:
The Wheel May Burst
The major threat is that the wheel, its inner tube, or both can burst due to increased atmospheric pressure. The pointy item responsible for making a hole in your bicycle wheel can also poke at other points on the tire as well. Often, many holes make a tube useless.
If you continuously ride a bike with a flat tire, even a minor hole in the wheel becomes a huge crack. No patchwork can repair such a wheel for future use.
Damage To The Rim
Another substantial risk when riding with a flat bicycle tire is extensive damage to the rim. The rim of your bike can twist, crack, or collapse.
The air in the tire supports and distributes most of the bikes and riders’ weight in the ground. With no air as a barricade, all the weight starts putting force on the rim tape itself. Also, with air in the wheels gone, the rim and bike damage on the obstacles in the road. The bumps, potholes, and small rocks on the road lead to the formation of bends in the rim.
Potential to Injure Yourself
Riding on a flat-shaped bike tire is dangerous for your bike and the rider as well. Tires are crucial for delivering traction. A metal rim alone can’t offer any grip on a smooth road or rough trail. A flat bad tire can get loose from the rim tape while riding, which can cause even experienced cyclists to lose control of the bike and eventually, crash.
The force of the air pressure in your tire keeps it locked inside your rim. Once your tire has lost air, it will not be secured on the wheel and pulls away from the bead.
Makes Riding Difficult
Riding on an airless tire is not an easy task. The air in a tubeless tire is essential for your bike to perform well.
Less air in the pneumatic tires will enhance the contact surface area of a tire with the ground. While letting a little air out of your tires is an excellent method to boost traction. It will also significantly enhance the rolling resistance. The bike will feel sluggish and unresponsive. Plus, you’ll have to put in more energy to keep your bike moving.
Damage To The Bike Frame
The irregular weight distribution caused by the lack of proper amount of air in the wheels is dangerous for your bike frame. The wobbling bike, the additional force from the rider, and no defense against bumps in the road can cause similar bending or breaking damages to the bike frame, like the bike rim tape.
What To Do If You Have a Flat Tire?
Now you know the risks involved when riding a bike with flat tires. So, you must be prepared for any situation before it occurs. You must be ready for any rapid temporary repairs in case you are involved in any kind of accident. You can keep a spare tube, duct tape, 40ml of latex sealant, or a certain dose of sealant with you on long journeys. Some of the things you can do instead of riding a damaged tire include:
If you usually enjoy a long-distance cycling road trip, it’s best to always keep a patching kit with you. It is a convenient and quick road repair method when the tire tube gets a small leak. Patching the hole is cheaper than getting a brand-new tube. You should also observe if the bike tube is extensively damaged, there is no other option but to replace it.
A premium high-end patching repair kit can help quickly repair different tire types & sizes and is a quick, simple, and reliable option.
You can use a portable pump to inflate narrow tires. Bike pumps are compact and portable. According to multiple recommendations, a portable Bike Floor Pump or a frame pump should always be part of your cling arsenal. It is available with a convenient valve stem, head, valve hole, and a sturdy steel barrel or pump head.
Use Tire Liners
Durable tire liners can help deal with problems related to riding a bike with flat tires. It is more of a preventative standard. An aftermarket tire liner is placed between the bicycle wheel and the inner walls of a bike tire. It can prevent any sharp things from reaching the tire tube and poking it. Thus, you won’t get a flat tire on smooth road surfaces, rough terrain, bumpy surface, or irregular trails.
Change The Tire
You can carry tube patches with you when going on a long adventure. Instead of consistently riding a bike, it is best to take a few minutes for a temporary repair of a flat tire. You can easily repair your tire by removing it and its tube from the rim, fixing the edges of holes using tube patches, and putting them back on the basic tire rim tape without using any tools.
Call A Cab
If you don’t have anything to fix the leaking tube, it’s best to call a taxi or friend to pick you up. This might seem to occur like an apparent solution, but under correct inflation pressure, people fail to resort to it. In dire times, asking for help is always the best option.
Drag Your Bike
If all other options are not reasonable in your situation, you can get off the bike and drag it. Dragging it is better than riding on it with a flat tube. But, dragging your bike is only recommended if you are at a close distance from your destination.
Complete Guide to Change Your Flat Tire
With the proper tools and a little skill, you can change a flat tire and be back on your bike in not more than 10 minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide for changing your tire:
Take the Wheel Off
This is the easiest part, as most types of wheels are quick-release or through-axle based on your brake type. If your flat at the back of the tire, ensure to change your gear accordingly. The derailleur will spring back to its position when removing the chain is.
Remove The Tire From Wheel
Once the wheel is off the bike, let out the remaining air from the tube so it can easily separate from the rim. With the air out, use the tire levers to remove the tire.
Starting at the opposite end, use the sharp area of a tire lever to remove the tire and tube from the rim. As it starts to detach, move the tire lever around the tire until you completely remove the wheel.
Remove the Tube
Before completely removing the flat tube, find the hole where the air is leaking. The object responsible for the hole might still be in the tire. It can also puncture your new tube if you don’t remove it.
Moving away from the valve, start pulling the tube out from the tire all the way. Make sure to leave almost 2 or 3 inches on both sides of the valve. After locating the hole, you can line it using a new tire to see if the item causing your flat is still there. Finding the cause is necessary to ensure you repair your flat tire once from the initial cause.
Remove the Flat Culprit
Using the flat tube suspended partially outside, through a hand pump blow it up with some air to detect where the air is leaking. If you have a problem hearing the air leaking, put your hand or face near the tube to sense the air gushing out.
When you find the hole, line it up with the tire to find the object in the bike and remove it. In most cases, Coach Darryl says the tire will be ready to hold a new tube. In the rare instance that you have a damaged side wall, though, you can use an old piece of tire or even a folded dollar bill to cover the hole and prevent the new tube from forcing its way through and going flat. This isn’t a replacement for a new tire, mind you, but just enough to get you home or to a bike shop.
Replace the Tube
If you’re certain there’s nothing in the tire to damage your new tube, you can fully remove the old one. Before you begin to put the new tube in, blow it up just enough to give it its normal shape. This will keep it from getting twisted or folded when you seat it inside the tire.
Place A New Tire on The Wheel
This is the hardest step of fixing a flat bicycle tire. You can now start the valve again, pressing it up from the interior of the tire, so that it moves the tire higher than usual on the road. This will offer you sufficient clearance to place the tire on the rim again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is It Possible To Ride Bikes With A Damaged Tire?
Yes, you can ride a bike with a flat tire, but most professional riders and experts recommend not to unless it’s an emergency. If you keep on riding even with flat tires will not only damage your bike tires but the internal tube and bike rim as well. The tire can also be entirely separate from the wheel, which can result in a crash and possible injury.
How to Fix a Tire?
If your bike has a flat tire instead of moving on a flat tire, it’s best to fix it before start using your bike. Here are some simple steps (quick repairs) you can follow to fix your tire:
- Release Brakes: Release the brakes, then the wheel
- Remove the Tube: Deflate the faulty tube to completely remove any remaining air. Remove the tire by pressing on the bead or prefer a special tire lever to access the tube.
- Find the Flat Cause: Thoroughly examine the wheel, tire, and the respective tube to determine the location and causes of tears or punctures.
- Patch or Add a New Tube: When riding, you can either patch up the hole (via patch kits) from where the air is leaking or replace the damaged tube with a new one and try fixing the damaged one afterward.
- Reinstall the Wheel: After adding the new tube to the wheel you can easily place it back on the bike rim and start riding again.
You must understand, even if it’s possible to ride a bike with a flat tire to some extent, it can be dangerous for your bike or your body. It’s better to follow the alternate suggestions explained above instead of taking the risk. If you can not carry a patching repair kit with you when going for a ride, you can offer additional protection to your wheels by using durable tire liners. It will prevent your tire from getting flat.